February 22, 2012
Top Ten for 1987 !!
Another show in my intrepid quest to find the 10 best shows in 1987, all for you, the 1987 virgin who might decide to trip over into post-77 territory. And my, does this Miller remaster sound incredible!
The Dead return to the west coast after a long emotional year, when everybody was waiting to see if Garcia could still play. By now, all doubts were dispersed and the ship was full sail back in CA waters.
Pocky Way and Minglewood kick things off in a lively mood, with some hot guitar. Candyman features a stellar vocal from Jerry, and some tripped out bubbly guitar playing.
Song lists are a big part of my selection process.
This show has it in spades - no bad Brent songs, no bad Bobby slide playing. The first set is notably strong - the highlight being the wonderful Bird Song.
This is a Dylan show, with Masterpiece, Maggie's Farm and Quinn giving us a triple hit. And the other highlights tonight are all 70's era songs -
Bird Song, Music, Terrapin, Cumberland, Other One and Stella Blue. So even if you think you don't like the 80's, this show could change your mind.
West L.A. continues the upbeat feel, Jerry's solo is crunchy deluxe.
Bird Song has some of the old magic. Jerry leaps and soars and Brent is right there too, although a bit too loud in the mix. At about 7:00 things really get cooking, with Jerry throwing off waves of fuzzed chords and colors. And no better way to end this uptempo set than with Music, which ends in a blazing finale.
Maggie's Farm is a welcome surprise, as Brent plays with a violin sample on his keyboard. The drummers really put the throttle down, and Jerry gives all the twang he can muster. Too bad Phil doesn't take a verse. The segue into Cumberland is perfectly logical, yet still amazes the crowd and is part of what makes this show special. They'll do this pair again on 11/14.
LL Rain sort of leaves us on a plateau, before the train comes by for Terrapin. Jerry nails it with both guitar and voice. The jam section is focused and magical, with an emotional roller coaster of dynamics. Brent's mellotron type of sound is interesting here. Then Jerry really rocks it out to the ending, splitting atoms as he plays.
Space starts playing with the Other One riff almost immediately, and I'm sure the quick of mind in the crowd caught on. Phil, Bob and Jerry all weave fast spirals of notes around the theme, like a Bach fugue coming unraveled. They float temporarily into the Twilight Zone echo world before they all get on the same page - the Other One!! Which is really a seamless continuation of Space, in effect. A too short version, but still Jerry doesn't waste a second. Wail is the operative word here. And Phil is just everywhere.
A satisfying version that gently lowers us into an enchanting Stella Blue. Again, Garcia's voice is in great shape. Dust off those rusty strings indeed. And what an inspired solo! Jeeez, what power.
There's nothing you can hold for very long - except this wonderful music, which lives forever.
Get this show folks, you won't be sorry. Exceptional playing, a classic.
Dr. Flashback :-)
June 19, 2008
One of My First Tapes
The second set begins on track 13 here.
Maggie's>Cumberland, Looks Like Rain, Terrapin>drums.....
There is so much good stuff here. Maggie's Cumberland is fun as hell. Jerry's solo in Looks Like Rain opened me up to a greater appreciation of the music. Drumz is some kind of adventure, with the typical '87 samples composed to perfection.
The Stella Blue sealed the deal. A perfect rendition, and I believe you can find the video of that at youtube.